April 27, 2019 at 4:29 pm

Happy Beginnings | Stevens Excels in Quality Control at Quidel

Austin Stevens, portrait

Austin Stevens

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

Ohio University alum Austin Stevens ’17 has jump-started his career as a Quality Control Technician III at Quidel.

A double-major in Biochemistry and Biological Sciences, Stevens also earned a certificate in Bioinformatics. He is considering applying to doctoral programs in bioinformatics and biochemistry.

After Stevens graduated, he conducted a career search and learned that Quidel was one of the area’s top employers. He started at Quidel as a Quality Control Technician II in 2017 and was promoted to Quality Control Technician III in November 2018.

His duties at Quidel involve closely reviewing and assessing the company’s products.

“I QC our molecular diagnostic products. We currently have three different molecular diagnostic platforms sold under the brand names Solana, AmpliVue, and Lyra. Solana and AmpliVue are based upon a helicase dependent amplification, which is different from conventional PCR [polymerase chain reaction]. The testing that I do ensures the kits and their components work to our manufacturing specification and quality standards,” Stevens says.

A Great Start at OHIO Zanesville

Stevens started his education at OHIO’s Zanesville campus in 2013, then transferred to the Athens campus in Spring 2015. He notes that starting out at a branch campus was the perfect fit for his personal and academic needs.

“At OHIO Zanesville, I tried to earn as many credits as I could, and I worked two jobs. At the end of Spring 2015, I started research at the Madison Biotechnology Institute, where I completed two different projects. One was looking at collagen concentration in intestines, and the other was looking at transporter signals in human liver and pancreatic cancer,” Stevens says.

This second project formed the basis of Stevens’s senior thesis.

Transferring Academic Skills to Quidel

Stevens’s studies at OHIO particularly emphasized molecular biology and microbiology, which prepared him remarkably well for his work with Quidel.

“Our products are based on molecular biology sciences, so I have the necessary understanding behind Quidel’s products and processes. The research I did in school helped a lot, and so did my higher-level classes, such as biochemistry, which better prepared me for this position,” he says.

Stevens encourages OHIO students who are entering the job market to seek opportunities—including those with local employers—that build upon the skill sets they’ve developed in school.

“Look around, and keep your eyes open. There are a lot of positions out there for students with biology-based backgrounds!”

About Quidel

quidel logoQuidel Corp. is a leading manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare solutions serving to enhance the health and well-being of people around the globe with well-known and respected products that provide healthcare professionals with accurate and cost-effective diagnostic information at the point of care. Its core competencies and capabilities focus on immunoassay and molecular testing in the areas of infectious disease, women’s health, and virology.

Quidel is headquartered in San Diego, with research and manufacturing operations in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Germany. Quidel and Ohio University are working together to support alumni in pursuit of rewarding career opportunities.

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